I have a video featuring my first dog – a Poodle x Jack Russell puppy who prematurely came to a very unhappy end. I write that lightly, but the event itself was the most upsetting thing that has happened to me. More affecting than the death of close relatives. Friends in the park have told me how sad the film is, so I promised to make a happier one featuring my current dog.
This is Lola’s showreel of many of the cues she knows. I’ve used clicker training to shape or lure her towards a behaviour, then when she can do it reliably I give the behaviour a name. Sitting was a good easy one to start with. Once she knew what I wanted her to do and did it repeatedly I linked the action to the word by saying ‘sit’ just as her bottom hit the floor. Once she did it at home, we tried it in other places with or without the lead on. ‘Sit’ came really easily and she was pretty reliable from 9 weeks old. ‘Roll over’ took longer and it was a whole year before she did it anywhere but at home.
Videoing these was a good way to see what she knew well and what needed more work. The leg weaves had briefly been very good, so I’m not sure what went wrong there and I’m surprised that ‘go to crate’ worked so well as we never use it.
Don’t expect fireworks – she’s not a flashy dog. We’ve just done the basics and a few that are more fun. It’s a way to have fun together and use up a lot of treats.